Rovers boss Barton on Ipswich defeat, 'Fawlty Towers' defending and Holy's red card moment

Town manager Paul Cook shakes hands with Bristol Rovers manager Joey Barton after the final whistle.

Town manager Paul Cook shakes hands with Bristol Rovers manager Joey Barton after the final whistle. - Credit: www.stephenwaller.com

Bristol Rovers boss Joey Barton slammed his side’s defending during the opening stages of their 2-1 loss to Ipswich Town yesterday. 

Paul Cook’s Blues were 2-0 up inside 11 minutes at Portman Road, with a Luke Leahy own goal and then an Alan Judge strike giving the hosts full control as they took advantage of their visitors’ slow start. 

Luke McCormick did grab one back for Barton’s side but they ultimately couldn’t find an equaliser, despite more than playing their part during the game’s final 80 minutes. 

“That’s the story of the season isn’t it?” Barton said after the game. “Individual moments of madness and errors have cost us. 

Bristol Rovers manager Joey Barton is reminded who is in charge by referee Stephen Martin.

Bristol Rovers manager Joey Barton is reminded who is in charge by referee Stephen Martin. - Credit: www.stephenwaller.com

“Thirty-nine games in you think you’ve seen everything in the game. I certainly haven’t seen a team play like they did in the first 10 minutes, it was like they were starring in Fawlty Towers. It was shocking and absolutely nowhere near good enough. 

“Credit to them, they’ve found themselves in a ridiculous position after 11 minutes and then they’d decided to fight. I’m proud of the further 70-80 minutes because they kept going and going but you can’t give goals away at any level, never mind two in the first 10 minutes.” 

Barton was furious at referee Stephen Martin’s decision not to show Town keeper Tomas Holy a red card following a nasty clash with Jonah Ayunga before the break, with Cook admitting post-match that the Czech stopper was lucky to stay on the field. 

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“I don’t really want to use that as an excuse, again we were our own worst enemy,” Barton said. 

Bristol Rovers manager Joey Barton speaking with the fourth official.

Bristol Rovers manager Joey Barton speaking with the fourth official. - Credit: www.stephenwaller.com

“We’ve given away two goals in the opening gambit of the game, you’ve got to take the referee and decisions out of it. 

“That probably would’ve shifted the game, at 2-1, we’re probably in the ascendency and their keeper should leave the field if we’re being honest. He’s come outside of the box and our player has touched it past him, the linesman on my side is saying he doesn’t think it was a goal-scoring opportunity. 

“I’ve asked the ref at half-time and full-time and he says he doesn’t think he was in control of the ball. Well of course it wasn’t because he’s got (Harald) Schumachered by Tomas Holy. He was taken out so he’s touched the ball and it would’ve stayed in play for a shooting opportunity. 

“What can you do? If I say what I really think then I’ll be suspended and the FA will fine me, so you can’t even tell the truth because they’ve become such an unaccountable organisation. It’s ruining games and it’s cost us multiple times since I’ve been here in my first 11 games.” 

Defeat leaves Barton’s men 23rd in the League One table with just seven games left to play. 

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